Distinct Distillers launches second rum range
UK company Distinct Distillers has announced two products as part of its new brand, The Distinct Collection.
The company was founded by Hannah Boon, who has nearly 20 years of experience working at drinks giants Diageo and Molson Coors.
“I come from an entrepreneurial background – my parents both run their own businesses and my brother does as well. I’ve always had the desire to go and do my own thing,” Boon said about launching the brand.
“With big businesses, it’s inevitable you get quite a bit of red tape and it can be quite slow. I found that a bit frustrating. That’s what inspired me to leave [Diageo] – a year ago now this month.
“As the name suggests, we’re challenging ourselves to create points of difference. We know that for our customers, it’s a challenging time and there are a million and one different SKUs. We want ours to stand out and be different.
“Over however many years I’ve worked in FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods], it’s really given me an insight into what our customers need. They don’t need just another ‘me too’.
“That’s why we’re called Distinct and it’s why we challenge ourselves to be different in everything that we do. Not for the sake of being different, but to really add a unique point of difference and solve problems for our customers – and not just create [products] with more of the same.”
The Distinct Collection is Distinct Distillers’ second brand, following the launch of Rum & Sum in April this year, and comprises two expressions: No 57 and No 41.
Distinct No 57 is a super-premium British white rum with an ABV of 57%.
“It’s very unique in its flavour,” explained Boon. “It has the smoothness and texture of an aged rum, but it is a white rum. We’re getting a lot of great feedback from the trade. It’s proof strength, so it’s great to use in cocktails because it’s got the strength where you can really taste the rum coming through, but without the heaviness that an overproof might have.”
Distinct No 41 undergoes a triple-filtering process and will officially launch next month.
Distinct Distillers’ first brand, Rum&Sum, is a range of naturally flavoured rum spirits with zero added sugar. Its two flavours – Raspberry & Crushed Mint and Pineapple & Coconut – will be joined by a third variant in March next year.
“It’s not what you would expect from a rum, but the idea is that they create really natural refreshing spritzers,” said Boon. “You can pair them with tonic, lemonade or ginger ale.
“They’re also great to use as a base for cocktails like Piña Coladas or Mojitos – especially if you’re doing them at home. You don’t have to buy lots of different ingredients because the spirit does a lot of the work for you.”
As well as its two rum brands, Distinct Distillers contract distils a variety of spirits, with the team splitting their team 50/50 for the time being.
“We’re trying to grow our brands organically,” said Boon. “We appreciate that’s a slow process. We want to establish the brands in the right way, by building distribution and ensuring our rate of sale is really strong.
“To do that properly, it takes time. The contract distilling side of things helps us to support the brand growth and allows us to do that a bit slower.”
Distinct Distillers is also committed to sustainable practices. The company shares its molasses with the Boon family business, headed up by Hannah’s brother, who makes animal feed from the molasses and creates fertiliser.
“Our distillate gets used to create pretty revolutionary fertiliser products that support sustainable agriculture. Regenerative farming is something we’re really committed to as a business,” added Boon.
Another USP for Distinct Distillers is the location of its headquarters – the company operates on a 36-acre former World War II fuel depot known as The Gun Club.
The site houses several underground aviation fuel tanks with temperature-controlled storage, which Boon said could hold up to 17 million bottles of spirits in cask storage.